Biographic by Steve McGarry for August 25, 2013
Biographic Steve McGarry John Cena John Cena was born in West Newbury, Massachusetts, on April 23, 1977. He had two passions as he was growing up - sports and hip-hop music. John was such a wrestling fanatic that he and his friends even staged their own tournaments in John's basement, competing for championship belts they constructed from dot-matrix printer paper! In his early teens, he adopted the fashions of his musical heroes, sporting a Vanilla Ice dyed-blond haircut and wearing huge M.C. Hammer-style baggy trousers. An All-American football star in college, he graduated with a degree in Exercise Physiology and moved to sunny California to escape the bitter Northeastern winters. He took a job working at a gym and was encouraged by a client to begin training with the Ultimate Pro Wrestling Academy. John enrolled and wrestled with UPS for two years, winning the heavyweight championship in 2000. Fighting under the nickname "The Prototype," he won the Ohion Valley Wrestling southern tag-team championship (with Rico Constantino) in 2001, and was crowned heavyweight champion in 2002. That summer, John made his WWE Smackdown debut, and almost defeated three-time world champion Kurt Angle! When John dressed as Vanilla Ice for a Smackdown Halloween Party and unleashed his freestyle rapping skills, a superstar was born! The self-styled "Doctor of Thuganomics" was soon one of the WWE's most popular characters - and he proved he had the skills to back up his words when he defeated The Big Show at WrestleMania XX to win the WWE U.S. championship in 2004. The following year, he defeated JBL to win his first WWE world championship. Away from the ring, Cena has hit the Billboard Top 20 with his 2005 rap album "You Can't See Me" and has ventured into acting. Early in his career, he appeared on the reality TV show "Manhunt" as bounty hunter Big Tim Kingman. He has starred in such movies as "The Marine," "12 Rounds" and "The Reunion," and plays Fred's imaginary dad in the "Fred" series of movies.